Almost Awake are an independent original rock band combining power, groove, & melody…. a lil something for everyone ♥
How would you describe your music?
We are a rock band making rock music. Our newer stuff that we play live is more chill & groovy. The stuff that’s out now is more drama & production. It’s all very melodic & catchy & fun to sing along with but still… ROCKIN.
Tell us about how the history of the project?
It all started in 2014, Kalani & me played together in church & the worship pastor (his dad) was like you know you guys sound good together you should try writing” & I’m down for anything so i was like ok then wrote a song, showed it to Kai, we arranged it, added drums, and it honestly slapped. then we were like, yo we should do this more. so we got a bassist (Tommy) and drummer & played our first show in December 2014. From there we’ve played about at least a hundred shows & put out two projects & some singles. We’ve gone through a couple line-up changes as far as members but Kai & Tommy & i have stuck together thou we have our ups & downs sometimes too. We got Bryson (drummer) just last summer from the School of Rock down here in Henderson. We desperately needed a drummer so we contacted the school & were like: “y’all got drummers” & they recommended him to us. Now we are preparing to release a record with the new line-up & play hundreds of more shows (:
What are your influences/ musical heroes?
Oh god i have so many, my biggest inspirations would probably be the neighbourhood, Lady Gaga, Sza, from Indian Lakes, Radiohead, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Paramore. Kai draws inspiration from a range of different things as well haha. We be listening to some weird shit. His main influences include Joe Satriani, Ichika, Polyphia, Coldplay, Tommy’s heroes include Tupac, Mark Hoppus/ Blink-182, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Marcus Miller. Bryson’s biggest inspiration is Chris Turner from Oceans ate Alaska and Matt Halpern from Periphery. He also loves Sleep Token, Beartooth, and Good Tiger.
What inspires you?
Drowsy: I’m inspired by people. Even though my brain makes them all out to seem like threat, i feel legitimately happy when i see other people happy & careless. I love art & nature & poetry.
Kai: Making music. Like actually writing it because it’s like thinking without having to think about what you’re thinking about. If that makes sense. It’s a whole other subconscious thought process that expresses something super deep that you cant really contemplate otherwise.
Tommy: I like things that are interesting. that sounds dumb, but i like to explore things that are different and new to me. The things in music that excite me most are things that are just different than you’d normally expect, or things that move in weird ways. It just gets me thinking of how i can do that in our music & gets me stoked to write more.
Bryson: Like Tommy, I like when things are screwy or don’t technically makes sense but still sound good. It makes the songs more interesting and cool. Like the song “Ten Dogs- Red Heaven” by Greyhaven, that drum part makes no sense but sounds so good. It’s like why would they write that? but i love that.
Do you write on the road? or do you prefer to write in the studio?
We write live at rehearsal. We’ve written songs spontaneously in the studio as well. Basically any time someone goes “I had an idea for a song it goes like this” hahaha. I think the coolest stuff happens when we just vibe together and make music and not try so hard to formulate a song you know what i mean? I’m always writing lyrics, or at least just writing. Even if it’s just me scribbling “oh my god today sucks please kill me” into my planner at some point during the day lol. Kalani is also always writing, he practices an ungodly amount. He’ll just send me a riff & be like “do you like this i wrote this while thinking about planes…” then I’ll listen & start building the song around that. That’s usually how the writing process goes. Then we’ll show Tommy & Bryson the song & they add their parts in. Sometimes songs form out of nowhere when we’re just at practice making noise lol.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
Drowsy: Oooo I love this question. My favourite is probably one of our newest ones called “Shortcuts”. The chord progressions are so catchy and the vocal melody is so weird & sad. It’s one of my favourite songs lyrically, and it’s just such a good vibe track. i can’t wait to record it!!
Kai: “Bleach” because the lyrics are really relatable to something i recently went through. That’s why the solo is so intense.
Tommy: My favourite is probably “Shortcuts” because it’s just a really hard hitting song and it grooves really well. i feel like everyone is doing something pretty interesting in it.
Bryson: I’m gonna go with “shortcuts” cause that’s the first song i wrote with you guys and i feel really connected with it. It’s a groovy boi.
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
Drowsy: The Neighbourhood or Twenty One Pilots. I don’t care if i get roasted for liking Twenty One Pilots i love them they’re great.
Kai: Polyphia or Covet would be sick.
Tommy: Hmm. what’s the most hipster bullshit tour i can put together…
Bryson: Snarky Puppy, Ghost, and The Black Dahlia Murder. Actually i hate ghost don’t put that on there.
What are your current thoughts on the music industry?
Honestly, it’s whatever. Personally i think the less people you have all up in your business the better. Like when we started really trying to make it, only a few years ago, everyone we came into contact with was still trying to figure out how to make money off of streams lol. So we got a manager, changed our sound, and marketed ourselves as, like, That Band. We practiced like 5 days out of the week, had a polished, perfectly rehearsed live show, we were always on social media promoting something like we really had it together. but everyone was sooooo unhappy. Hostile even. To try & maintain that level of “industry readiness” was toxic and nothing even came from it. Then we lost members, got dropped by the label, lost our manager, etc. Then changed our sound, started writing what we wanted to write, when we wanted to get together, posting what we wanted to post, just focusing on making music & boom even more opportunities came up for us somehow. I guess what I’m saying is there’s this picture of what you HAVE to do to make it in the industry that’s simply unobtainable & disingenuous. the way to make it now is to just work hard, be nice, and be yourself. Things will fall in line if you avoid the get rich quick schemes that everyone tries to pull, especially if your young. Maybe that’s just me though.
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
Oh, that’s a hard one. Nothing weird or funny happens, usually just unfortunate luck type stuff hahaha. We’ve gotten tickets, car accidents, vans breaking down, sick band members, cancelled shows, anything you can think of that could go wrong has gone wrong. But we’ve been pretty chill on our tours, we don’t really get into a lot of trouble, most of us just stay inside honestly hahaha
What are your future plans?
Right now we are working on mixing & promoting our EP that’s hopefully going to be ready before or by fall time. We’re stoked on that. Then we’ll be touring of course. & then probably keep writing & recording. we’re talking about a full album soon……